Murderer denies world sense of justice
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2007
In a nightmarish straight-out-of-Columbine shooting incident, a Virginia Tech student picked up a pair of loaded pistols and executed 32 people on campus. He then killed himself, and in a rambling video diary sent to NBC headquarters in New York, Cho Seung-Hui had the audacity to compare himself to the greatest person ever to walk the Earth.
“You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul, and torched my conscience,” Cho said in his video “manifesto,” mailed midway through his shooting spree on Tuesday. “You thought it was one pathetic boy's life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.”
By the majority of accounts Cho in no way resembled the Lamb of the World. He was a loner, who snapped cell phone pictures of his female classmates, wrote plays and stories layered bloody with violent imagery, and had a “meanness” in him, according to one professor.
One student described Cho as a “bully,” which is a bit of an understatement; a bully beats you up and takes your lunch money. He doesn't strap himself down with ammunition and treat the world as his own personal slaughterhouse.
While investigators will spend weeks combing over the tiniest details of Cho's life to find out the “why” behind his acts on Tuesday, I really don't care. Cho Seung-Hui was an evil human being. As evil as the two teenaged killers at Columbine in 1999. As evil as Jim Jones, or Adolph Hitler, or David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam.” As evil Susan Smith, the mother who forced her own children into an automobile and drove it into a river in 1994. As evil as anyone who commits the families of 32 people to a life of hell like Cho did this week.
In the end? Cho chose the coward's way out. He pointed the gun at himself and denied the world its sense of justice.
Psychologists, experts and activists will also spend the next couple of months finding somewhere to lay blame for Cho's actions. Lax gun laws in the U.S. allowed Cho his choice of weapons, many will argue. His fellow students were at fault for not being “nicer” to Cho and acknowledging him as an equal. A psychiatrist that treated Cho in 2005 should have seen the warning signs. It was a society weaned on violence - in video games, movies, television, and yes, in the newspaper, that led to Cho's homicidal march through the campus of Virginia Tech University.
Fact: In the end the responsibility lies with the corpse of Cho Seung-Hui.
Kevin Pearcey is Group Managing Editor of Greenville Newspapers, LLC. He can be reached by phone at 383-9302, ext. 136 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.